I’m a little bit ashamed to admit this to you. I’m watching a show on Netflix called Mom. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a comedy that follows a mother and her adult daughter as they struggle with overcoming their alcoholism and the damage that it caused in their (and each other’s!) lives. Though I bust a gut laughing in each episode, this show is different than any I’d usually watch because it is filled with alcohol, drugs, and sex.
Those are three things I usually avoid in videos, tv, and books.
So why do I keep watching it?
Well, other than being funny, it’s very warm-hearted.
The characters are dunks, drug addicts, strippers. They sleep around, party, and commit crimes.
But they are also exceptionally generous, welcoming, helpful, and tolerant. They are trying to improve themselves, they apologize for their mistakes, they repair the relationships that their actions damaged, they give the little they have to someone who needs it more than they do, they bend over backwards to help someone out.
So while I sit and watch the show - laughing at the jokes - I can point my finger at their mistakes. I can take the high ground and say things like, “I’d never be a drunk! I’d never sleep around! I’m not a stripper! That’s a bad decision! She’s a terrible person!”
I can pat myself on the back because I don’t do those terrible things.
But whoopty-do. Good for me. I’m not a drunk. I’m not a stripper. I don’t do drugs.
But am I exceptionally generous? Do I go out of my way to help someone in need? Do I welcome strangers into my home because they need a safe place to sleep? Am I helpful? Am I tolerant? Do I own up to my mistakes and repair the damage I caused? Do I bend over backwards to take care of someone?
I can sit on my high horse, pointing down at others who “do bad things”. I can pat myself on the back because I have completed some sort of moral checklist I created for myself.
But when it comes down to it, am I a good person just because I don’t do bad things? Or is there more to being a good person?
I think at the very least, to be a good person, we have to stop judging ourselves as good and judging others as bad.
No one is all bad. No one is all good.
We are all a bit bad, and a bit good.
The characters on the show are a bit bad. And they’re also a bit good.
I am a bit good. And I’m also a bit bad.
You’re a bit bad. And you’re also a bit good.
The purpose of life is not to emphasize your good side, and hide your bad side.
The key is to recognize your good and your bad sides. Then we can all sit around - you, me, the prostitutes, and the tax collectors - eating humble pie and connecting with each other.
Where in your life do you take the moral high ground?
Who do you judge, and for what?
Think of the person in the above question. What are some of their strengths?
What are some of your faults and failures?
Here’s to Conquering Stress.
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